Growing up in Glasgow, I was exposed to more than my fair share of internecine rivalries: when I was more serious about blogging, I planned a grand series of posts cataloguing every single one of them. Easy, I thought, there’s the other football team, the other side of the river, the suburbs, the other city, and don’t even get me started on the English.
Though these rivalries have existed for years, the internet has given them a new lease of life, in the hands of pure, unabashed saddos. Usenet has been the site of a proxy war, pitting Glasgow Airport against its rival in Edinburgh. The revision history for the Glasgow article on Wikipedia shows frequent changes in the population column, as well as the recent deletion of the comment, “Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and all the more mysteriously is not the capital. Edinburh the second largest city in Scotland is the capital.” I can even remember reading one message board post where the author had counted the number of A-roads in each city and concluded that, having more, Glasgow was the more important.
In the interests of full disclosure, I must admit that I did once subscribe to both alt.airports.uk.glasgow and the edit feed for the city’s Wikipedia article. But having lived first in Edinburgh, now in England, I’ve become more laid back in my civic pride. Until today, that is.
A BBC news article reported on fears during the Cold War that a nuclear strike would have a grave effect on the nation’s tea supply. It mentioned that, for the purposes of planning:
the Ministry of Food listed London, Birmingham, Merseyside, Manchester and Clydeside [Glasgow] as H-bomb targets.
Tyneside, Teesside, Leeds, Sheffield, Hull, Derby, Purfleet in Essex, Southampton, Portsmouth, Bristol, Plymouth, Cardiff, Coventry and Belfast were named as A-bomb targets.
And all I could think was, ‘Ha, take that, Edinburgh….’